Olive Oil — A Surprising Drizzle for Vanilla Ice Cream

by Dorothy Reinhold on February 13, 2011

Print This Post Print This Post Vanilla Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt on Shockingly Delicious

Do you trust me when it comes to dessert?

After all this time, of course you do! I bat 1000 when it comes to dessert.

Then follow these directions and prepare to have your world rocked!

Vanilla ice cream in a pretty bowl from Shockinglydelicious

Grab some super premium French vanilla ice cream and put it in a pretty bowl. (Yes, spring for the Haagen-Dazs.)

Vanilla Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt from Shockinglydelicous

Drizzle it with super premium Romanelli Quattro California Super Premium Extra Virgin olive oil. (I’ll wait while you absorb the radical idea of olive oil on ice cream.)

Vanilla Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt from Shockinglydelicous

Then sprinkle on a little sea salt.

Get a spoon. And don’t share.

While you are eating, let your eyes roll back in your head. Go ahead. Cool and creamy, sweet and salty, peppery and perfumed, this is a divine revelation. It’s larger than you. It’s primal. It’s otherworldly.

You may thank me later.

Robert JayeBut first, let’s hear from the producer of that vaunted olive oil – Robert Jaye, owner of the Malibu Olive Company.  A lighting cameraman and media artist, Jaye planted 12 olive trees at his Malibu home back in 2000, and what was a hobby meant to provide a few olives for his table has turned into a business producing the highest quality super premium California extra virgin olive oil.

Emelio EstevezA brush with actor Emilio Estevez and a group of grape growers known as “the Malibu wine Mafia” at a party led him to make oil from the olives. The wine gang was actually urging him to start a vineyard, telling him it would “change his life.”

“I did have a small grove of olive trees, and I started thinking and looking into it, and I thought, ‘This is something I can do. Olive trees aren’t difficult to grow.’ That suited my agricultural capability quite well,” he said with a laugh.

After educating himself on olive growing and marketing at UC Davis, he’s on a bit of a mission to educate and inform consumers about the liquid gold coming out of the Golden State, which for the past decade has been lucky enough to have an artisan olive oil renaissance. In essence, his message is this: In California, we are really getting a deluxe, super premium gourmet, healthy, best-in-the-world product for half the price of the best quality imported extra virgin olive oils. California super premium extra virgin olive oils are among the highest quality anywhere, adhering to strict standards and quality controls. That’s not the case with every grocery store oil labeled extra virgin.

All Olive Oil is Not Equal

Remember the New Yorker article in August 2007 about the bogus olive oils from Spain and Italy that were actually cheap nut and seed oils doctored up and passed off as extra virgin olive oil? The article alleges that fraud remains a major international problem because olive oil is more valuable than most other vegetable oils — costly and time-consuming to produce, but easy to adulterate.

California Olive Oil Council sealNo thanks. I’ll stick closer to home and look for the California Olive Oil Council seal, which signifies it is authentic, certified extra virgin olive oil that has met the highest standards in the world.

The flavor profile of olive oils ranges from 1 to 10, 1 being light, and 10 being most robust. Jaye acknowledges that, “A lot of people aren’t ready for the 10s, but once you begin tasting and using super premium California olive oils, you crave a more robust oil. You can definitely train yourself to want a robust oil.”

Extra virgin signifies the highest standard. The oil must be from the first pressing, cold pressed (as opposed to extracted using heat or chemical solvents), must have an extremely low acidity (lab tested), must have appreciable levels of pepperiness, bitterness, and fruitiness and must be free of official taste defects, which can include “musty,” “fusty,” and “rancid.”

Olive tree from ShockinglydeliciousJaye’s Malibu Olive Company makes two oils, both extra virgin – one a Mission blend of Manzanillo and Mission olives, and a more robust version with a bite called Romanelli Quattro, a blend of Ascolano, Leccino and Arbequina olives.

Although he admits to using butter on his toast, Jaye uses olive oil for everything else – drizzling it on a steak after he cooks it, using it to flavor a simple pasta, salad or fish.

And then there’s the ice cream. He got the idea from his daughter Sara Jaye, a food writer in the San Francisco Bay Area, who described to him the way restaurants up there served it.  

Vanilla Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Jaye says, “Trust me on this one…it is fabulous.”


  • Two scoops of premium French Vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tablespoon Malibu Olive Company Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • A pinch of sea salt

Serve the ice cream with the olive oil at the bottom of the bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and serve with your favorite cookie.

National Vanilla Ice Cream Day is July 23. You do not have to wait until then to try this!

Other Robert Jaye recipes that show off his oils

  1. Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Chili
  2. Cannellini Beans with Olive Oil, Garlic and Oregano

Where to find Malibu Olive Company oils

Malibu Olive Company
Malibu Farmer’s Market (23519 Civic Center Way, Malibu; every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Malibu Fish and Seafood
Guido’s restaurant (you have to ask for it)
Canyon Gourmet in Topanga
Rosenthal Vineyard tasting room
PC Greens grocery store
Room at the Beach
Tra di Noi (the chef will make your whole dinner using it if you make a special request)

Vanilla Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt from Shockinglydelicous

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Myasheed July 22, 2020 at 11:34 am

I, for one, found this to be delicious. It almost reminded me of salted caramel ice cream. The key is to use just a small drizzle of fine quality olive oil.. Thanks for the simple, delectable recipe! 😀


Dorothy Reinhold July 23, 2020 at 7:43 am

Thank you for trying it! I agree with you on every point.


K W July 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Apologies, but I don’t feel that I can simultaneously be polite and fully express my reaction to this suggestion. Please understand that no offense is intended.

I gave this a shot. I was skeptical when someone told me to sprinkle sea salt on my chocolate chip cookies, and it ended up making them my signature recipe, and everyone I know is constantly harassing me to make more. And peanut butter on a cheeseburger? So skeptical, but so pleasantly surprised. So I was willing to give this the benefit of the doubt.

This was an absolute abomination. Others on here seem to have enjoyed it, but for me, it tasted exactly like what you imagine olive oil and ice cream would taste like at your first reaction. I thought this was horrendous. Granted, I’m not much of an olive oil fan in the first place, but I’ve always figured that all it would take was the right dish to bring be around. After all, you can’t judge ketchup by what it tastes like on chocolate cake, right? But for me, this was a no-go. I actually feel a bit queasy even remembering it.


Dorothy Reinhold July 20, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Wow, you and I had diametrically opposed reactions! I loved the sweet, creamy perfumed vanilla ice cream with a hint of a fruity savory olive oil. I thought it was simply awesome! I do think you need a superior quality extra-virgin olive oil, with a lot of body and flavor. Otherwise, you’re simply pouring flavorless oil on ice cream. Also, I don’t think you need very much…just a little drizzle.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Jeff W February 13, 2020 at 12:59 pm

I tried this today and I agree with you. It appears that some people like this taste combination but it is something I will not try again. The sea salt might be OK but olive oil and ice cream together? No way, ever again. However, I am going to give that cheeseburger and peanut butter combo idea a try sometime. 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold February 17, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Thanks for giving it the old college try! I might have been more open to it because I have had olive oil on my salads since I was a small child (my mother was Italian). So it might be in my blood!


Janette March 14, 2011 at 2:19 am

I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome this sounds. I don’t think I’ve used anything but olive oil for the past 35 years, now on to find this one. Thanks for sharing your recipe! 🙂


Jen (The Domestic Diva) March 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Great article! My brother’s restaurant in Larkspur (just picked by Food & Wine as one of the top pizza restaurants in the country) has soft serve ice cream with olive oil and sea salt. It is heavenly…



Dorothy March 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Congrats to your brother! What a huge honor!


Nona Hale February 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I trusted you! To quote my husband, “What a perfectly good way to ruin good Haagen Dazs!” But it was a fun adventure …


Dorothy February 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

Awwww, Nona, tell me it’s not so! Your husband isn’t a fan of olive oil on vanilla ice cream? Ah well…to each his own. Thanks for trying it!


Kate February 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm

It is a radical idea and novel too but me, I think will stick with fudge sauce.


Lana February 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Thanks for such a beautiful and informative post. I am yet to find local olive oil here in Orange County, and everything else is a gamble:)
Premium olive oil on premium ice cream sounds intriguing, albeit weird. But human palate can adjust to so many different tastes – why would this be any different? Given a chance, I’d try it with enthusiasm.


Lentil Breakdown February 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I had olive oil ice cream when I was in New York and wasn’t too sure about it, but I imagine this tasting much better with the oil drizzled over it with the sea salt. I will have to hunt down some of his oil. Sounds wonderful!


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